The Igbo World Assembly (IWA) says it has been, and will continue to be at the forefront of projecting, propagating and promoting Igbo culture, customs, norms, values and development worldwide.
According to the assembly, Igbo unity, values and development are so critical at this point and it therefore appeals to all patriotic Igbo organisations and individuals to put Igbo interest first for now and for posterity.
The assembly which made the appeal in a statement signed by Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, its Chairman and Chief Oliver Nwankwor, its Secretary General, noted that, “Our Igbo fundamentals, common interest and destiny have been significantly challenged and united we will triumph and transcend into a greater unity.”
The IWA said it met in a worldwide meeting on the 17th January 2021, and critically reviewed, assessed and analysed the issues and circumstances that led to the elections of disunity in Ohanaeze Ndigbo in particular and Igbo nation in general.
“It is our solemn duty to Ndiigbo to communicate and share our findings which serve as the basis of our decision and which will guide our future actions.”
Analysing the pre-Ohanaeze election issues, the assembly said the differences between the immediate past President General Chief Nnia Nwodo and the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu were not settled by Ime Obi Ohanaeze, noting that, it was a missed opportunity that should not be repeated in the future.
“The purported suspension or sacking of the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu was not sanctioned by the Ohanaeze General Assembly and therefore did not comply with the Ohanaeze’s Constitution.
“That there were parallel Ime Obi meetings, one called by the immediate past President General Chief Nnia Nwodo and another by the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu, was an early warning of disunity.
“Two parallel Electoral Committees, one led by Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey and the other by Prince Richard Ozobu for the same Ohanaeze election, this was a clear demonstration of disunity.
“IWA aligned with other patriotic Igbo Organisations under the auspices of Global Igbo Leaders that first advised Ohanaeze to follow Ohanaeze Ndigbo Constitution and the Electoral guidelines to the letter. When that was not possible IWA, under the Global Igbo Leaders recommended that a properly constituted Ohanaeze Ndigbo Caretaker Committee be established to run the affairs of Ohanaeze Ndiigbo for about three months beginning the 10th of January 2021 to ensure the unity of Ndiigbo.
“Concerned Ime Obi Ohanaeze members equally called for caretaker Committee to be set up but the immediate past President General Chief Nnia Nwodo and the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu ignored those calls for unity.”
The assembly considered the irregularities in the Ohanaeze elections, noting that it reviewed and assessed the reports from our representatives including accounts received from the candidates to the elections and others and here is summary of our findings:
1. Prince Okwukwu’s faction of Ohanaeze election was held in secrecy without any transparency
Chief Nnia Nwodo’s Faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s Election:
2. Yes, Option 4 method was used during the election but the process that led to Option 4 was undermined and completely manipulated.
3. In accordance with the Constitution, election guidelines were not issued to all the contestants at least seven days before the election day resulting to several credible candidates withdrawing from the elections to avoid giving legitimacy to a flawed election.
4. The Congress of President Generals of the Igbo Town Unions were not allowed to elect their representatives into the State General Assembly who in turn elects the delegates to both the National General Assembly and the State Assembly. Thus, all the three levels of the General Assembly were not properly constituted but replaced by practicing/partisan politicians hence the Ohanaeze electoral process of the January 10, 2021 was flawed.
Potential Impacts of flawed Ohanaeze Ndigbo Elections to Igbo interests:
i. The international standing. Integrity and reputation of Ndiigbo which is anchored on equity and fairness is damaged. The civilized world knew about this election and could sanction those involved in this election malpractice. IWA is pained seeing the reputation of Ndiigbo being damaged and our leaders being sanctioned.
ii. The impunity and the intentional irregularities in this election has brought regrettable factions in Ohanaeze Ndigbo and thus disunity amongst Ndiigbo that will have severe impact in 2023 Nigerian Presidential election.
iii. This electoral irregularities and flagrant disregard of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Constitution is not sitting well with the physique of Igbo youths and Igbo people.
IWA having painstakingly reviewed and assessed the pre-election issues and the electoral irregularities and after analysing the impacts of upholding flawed and parallel election outcomes resolved as follows:
1. IWA is highly disappointed by the failure to conduct elections that promoted Igbo unity, progress and development.
2. Given that IWA’s mantra is Igbo unity, progress, integrity and development, it therefore becomes imperative that IWA will neither recognize nor associate with any of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo parallel executives produced by flawed and unconstitutional elections.
3. IWA therefore agrees and aligns with the decisions and plans of Concerned Imeobi Members and we urge them (Concerned Imeobi Members) to immediately setup Ohanaeze Ndigbo Caretaker Committee to first bring unity and later have Electoral Committee to conduct credible, free and fair election that will follow dues process
The assembly noted that as the umbrella organization of Ndiigbo worldwide, whose membership comes from many countries outside Nigeria including USA, UK, France, Spain, Finland, Netherland, Ireland, India, Ghana, Mali, UAE (Dubai), Pakistan, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Denmark, Japan, Italy, Mali, Ghana, Korea, China, Russia, Ukraine, Sweden and Canada, it Igbo works very closely and recognizes Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo as the authentic mouthpiece of Ndi-Igbo World Wide.